An Interview with Julie Browning Bova

I’m delighted to introduce Julie, our new interior design contributor! Julie has an incredibly elegant aesthetic and we’re looking forward to her insights, inspirations and tips for statement designs in your home.

To begin our blog journey with Julie, we sat down over a large cup of tea and we talked of family, books, furniture and magazines.

When was the very first moment you wanted to be an Interior Designer?

From a very early age I knew I would be an interior Designer. I would go to the architectural firm with my father and sketch on huge blank pieces of paper with a sharpie. I always have a roll of tracing paper & sharpies in my computer bag to share my vision.

Image by Stacey Newgent

Image by Stacey Newgent

What’s in your inspiration library?

Books! I am a huge collector of Interior design, garden, art and lifestyle books. I have always bought stacks. I am a person that values a beautiful coffee table book. I have so many favorites as you can see from my work table!

Image by Stacey Newgent

A few of my true favorites are:

Winter House by Charlotte Moss – I love this ‘alpine chic’, eclectic blend of antiques, furnishings and artifacts. The architectural detail in contrast with the crisp blue & white pattern fabric with traditional fresh green is impeccable. Her decor for the holidays, fresh cut evergreens and berries, are simple and natural in the home.

Winter House by Charlotte Moss

Robert Indiana This book is a sentimental favorite for its culture roots and great relevance to famous LOVE sculpture in our city. His international fame has placed his paintings in museums around the world next to Warhol and Lichtenstein. A must for any coffee table.

Robert Indiana: The Artist and His Work 1955 - 2005

At Home With Carolyne Roehm. Entertaining is part of my life. I love to entertain guests. I am conditioned to do this. My parents always threw great parties! One unforgettable occasion was when the Pan American Games came Indiana my family was the host to dignitaries, Olympic committee members and athletes from around the world.

I always decorate with huge vases filled with branches! I love that Carolyne Roehm’s designs are at all times big, elegant and natural.

At Home with Carolyne Roehm

Houses and Gardens by Robert Stern – Architectural detailing is so important to me! I say everyday “If you get the architecture right then the interior design is easy.” I believe this. Robert Stern has an incredible eye. I fell in love with his attention to detail on a commercial building. My father shared with me the Disney headquarters. At that time I realized design is not applied it is carried thru the details and intertwined, repeated. This great talent continues to inspire my construction projects daily.

Robert A. M. Stern: Houses and Gardens

Do you have a favourite interior design blog or site?

I love it represents such a great blend of design and international interiors. Products, interiors and incredible spaces! The site is well organized and pure eye candy.

What are your favorite Shelter magazines?

Architectural Digest – I have saved every copy – my father would get me a subscription.

Vogue and Town & Country I constantly reference great fashion and style in my interior designs! I am obsessed with the details and always try to add it into the details of my custom soft goods…expect the unexpected.

What’s your top advice for tackling an interior design project?

We must prioritize!

Define your space with what you love. Collect art, unique pieces of furniture and mix it up!
I try to have the client create a “wish list” of all their goals in their home that they would like to accomplish, after that is established we work on a budget. Try to incorporate existing pieces and reuse family heirlooms.

What’s your basic Interior Design strategy?

It is most important for me to create a scheme that incorporates the “Wow” pieces. Eclectic, layers, patina and character all are words that describe my approach to design. Create an environment that appears as if it has been there forever….timeless & classic. It works!

What should people consider when buying pieces for the home?

Look for longevity and quality. Make sure you are following your heart and not a trend. Splash out on the key pieces that add that special accent to the room you are decorating.

Find a treasure that you love and start to create a home.

Image by Stacey Newgent

This sneak peek into one of Julie's offices illustrates how vintage and modern, colour and neutrality can be layered to great effect. Image by Stacey Newgent

First place to start?

Feeling overwhelmed? Start at the front door with a beautiful umbrella stand, great chest, spectacular mirror or original piece of Art. That sets the tone of a home.

Read more about Julie’s profile in the Theo contributor listings.

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